Before I start, I just want to say that everything I am about to say is how I feel and not a representation of all people who give birth via C-Section.
It is currently Caesarean Awareness Month and having personally been through a section, it is only fitting that I write a post. I love that there is an entire month of awareness for something that isn’t necessarily always discussed that openly.
Oscar was born via emergency caesarean after 3 days in labour and no sign of any progress. His heart rate was consistently dipping and after a failed attempt at breaking my waters, I was rushed to theatre to get him out. I’ve written all about my whole birth experience on my blog so check it out if you want to see what went on.
I went into hospital to be induced with no intention of having a C-Section. It didn’t really ever cross my mind. At the NHS antenatal classes, the topic was merely skimmed over and the focus was all on having a vaginal birth. I went through having a section with no real understanding of the procedure and no expectations of ever having one and I really wish that more had been said about it. It’s almost as though it was swept under the carpet as though it never actually happens. In my eyes, that is wrong.
Unfortunately since having my section I have been left feeling as though I didn’t really give birth and like I missed out, or was robbed of an experience I assumed I would have. Of course, the end result is that my baby was born safely and healthy, but that doesn’t take away from the strange feeling I feel when I think about my experience. I didn’t have that vaginal birth and I didn’t experience all the feelings that I thought I would. In fact, truth be told, my labour was all very weird and it definitely wasn’t right, that’s for sure.
The section itself was awful. As it was an emergency, everything is very rushed and I felt very apprehensive throughout. Being wheeled into the white theatre room was a moment I’ll never forget. It felt wrong. It felt as though everything was falling apart. It was not what I imagined. The spinal block left me shaking for hours. All I remember from theatre is asking the anaesthetist the weirdest questions, having an oxygen mask placed on me, the heavy feeling on my chest and tugging when the surgeons were taking Oscar out and when they pulled the sheet down and all I saw was a massive tub of my own blood. Not ideal.
Thankfully, the best moment ever was when my gorgeous little boy was held over me so that I could see him. I’ll forever be thankful that I can remember that moment because quite a lot of the rest of the 3 days is such a blur to me. I wish I could document it fully but really, I can’t. There’s so much I don’t remember and I hate that. I didn’t get to cuddle my little boy straight away and by the time I was back in the recovery room, he was almost an hour old.
It was 2 weeks afterwards that my scar started to swell up and I was in so much pain. I assumed it was normal. We called 111 and I was advised to go to the emergency clinic straight away. Little did I know, I actually had a severe scar infection that needed treating with the strongest IV antibiotics available. I was stuck in hospital on this drip for 5 days. I hardly got to see my little boy and it was honestly the hardest thing I have ever been through. My blood results were really bad – I had septicaemia from the infection and my skin started to turn yellow. I was very lucky that I went into hospital when I did otherwise I would have become very poorly, very quickly. My wound had to be reopened (with surgical scissors) whilst I was wide awake so that they could take a swab. I was then given a vacuum pack dressing to wear for a whole week – it’s a little box attached to a tube which pulls the moisture out of the wound and really helps it to heal quickly.
Look at the colour of my skin!
Finally on the mend!
It was an event that I wouldn’t like to go through again and honestly, it has really put me off having any more kids (I’ll save that for another blog post though. It could get deep!) It is a memory that I look back on with such fear and not the happy memories I should have of those days.
It’s hard. It really is. It still affects me now. I can be fine for days, weeks, months but then suddenly it all comes back to me and it’s like I’m reliving the experience in my head. I honestly can’t believe what I went through and it’s hard to get over. It’s hard to forget and I think it will take me a lot of years before I can properly come to terms with it all.
For now, I hope that Caesarean Sections are given more awareness. There’s too much sugar-coating and not enough teaching of the things that can happen. Vaginal deliveries being referred to as ‘normal’ needs to stop because every delivery is normal! Imagine how it feels to go through something like I did and then to be told your birth wasn’t normal. Don’t you think I know that? It wasn’t like I chose it and I didn’t ever want it to happen but it did. I had the easy option did I? Wrong. I honestly thought I was going to die with my infection. How, in any way, is that easy?
There needs to be more understanding of it all for everyone so spreading as much awareness throughout April, and every other month, is what is needed.